Vice President Faisal Naseem on Monday warned that the magnitude and impact of inactivity in the face of the climate emergency would be unparalleled. He made the remarks in his statement at the opening session of the Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) held at the CROSSROADS Maldives.

Vice President Faisal remarked that the world is facing numerous global challenges tied to climate change. He noted that the Maldives is one of the world’s lowest-lying countries, which means that its resilience to climate change is instantly apparent as you fly over the country.

The Vice President said that the vulnerability of people living in small island nations to rising sea levels, warming oceans, and the high levels of investment and logistics required to adapt to a warming world is disturbingly clear. He, however, stressed that adaptation does not receive the political attention it deserves, nor does it receive financial investment commensurate with the scale of the challenge.

The Vice President went on to echo President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s statement at the UN General Assembly last year, reminding the delegates that "the difference between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees is a death sentence for the Maldives."

He emphasised the importance of gaining traction before the world gathers in Sharm al-Sheikh in November to show that the commitments made in Paris and Glasgow would be implemented and translated into policy, convey the need for immediate action, and contextualise the critical need for adaptation.

"Maldivians want to remain in the Maldives. We want to continue to fish, play, work, and live in our home, and we want to be involved in seeking solutions that allow us to do so," he said. "These solutions include easing access to climate finance and technology, building resilience and adaptive capacity that addresses sustainable development and reduces inequality."

"The most vulnerable people in the world cannot afford any further delays to these solutions. The science has never been clearer," he added. "The battle to keep the 1.5-degree goal alive will be won or lost within this decade."

The Maldives is hosting the work programme on GGA from May 16-17, 2022. It is a critical goal of the Paris Agreement, aiming to improve adaptive capacity and resilience while reducing vulnerability in order to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.